Trust is a tricky thing to grasp. It can’t be bought. It can only be earned. It takes time to generate and is the bedrock of your reputation. So how do you go about earning the trust of your customers, employees and stakeholders?
You can be forgiven for thinking that the current external environment resembles a minefield at the moment. Social media is a positive place for creativity, discussion, activism but it is home to some of the worst vitriol society can dredge up.
You can usually guarantee that any brand who makes a misstep will have their blushes plastered across any number of channels within hours and thrown to the waiting armchair critics.
Everyone makes mistakes but some situations are avoidable. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure you give consideration not only to the ethics of your decisions, but also the actions of your supply chain and contractors. CIPR’s Ethics Month is an ideal time to reflect on why sound ethical practices should be at the heart of your organisation to safeguard your reputation. We caught up with our best of breed Chartered CIPR Practitioners to find out why.
Matt Suddaby, Client Portfolio Director
“It can be easy to consider taking the easy route or the most commercially viable when it comes to ethics. The cheapest option may have the most beneficial impact on your profit and loss but if it publicly transpires that this comes as a trade-off to safety or welfare then can actually lead to severe reputation issues. If it transpires that this has gone on for some time and/or you were aware then this increases the impact.
“If you are paying for a top PR agency, then their consultants are there to advise you how decisions could play out. You pay for their experience and they should have your best interests at heart. They should seek to challenge and guide you and if you find that you fundamentally disagree, it is your business and responsibility lies with you.”
“Almost every business will face a social media backlash or a media crisis at some point. There’s no reason to panic! In fact there’s quite a lot you can do to prepare in advance. You always read up on some practical tips on how to prepare for a crisis in our spottyblog.
Katie Bregazzi, Client Services Director
“Social media dominates much of the activity we develop for our clients. The previous way of targeting the tabloids and regional media to gain brand exposure, whilst still valuable, can now be replicated more affordably across social platforms often with better metrics to track the impact and ROI of its activity.
“But it does come with a cautionary note. Don’t fake it. Whether it’s reviews, influencer endorsements, surveys – be upfront.
“Fake reviews are pretty obvious to spot, but they are also illegal. Be wary of any company offering positive reviews for you. The same goes for using influencers. The Advertising Standards Agency has and will step in if you are not upfront that you have a paid partnership. You can find out more in their online guidance, but if you are in any doubt ask your communications consultants.”
Rachel Roberts, CEO
“As a communications agency, we’re here to help clients grow their reputation, engage with new customers and deliver the key messages that communicate the compelling reason to buy or use their business. But how do you know that we’re experts?
“One way you can check is to see what third party endorsement they have. As a top dog in the PR industry, we’re proud to have been accredited by the Public Relations & Communications Association and to be corporate affiliate members of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
“To make sure we truly deliver best of breed communications and remain a top PR agency, we have to stay on top of the latest developments and innovations that are impacting our industry. That’s why everyone at spottydog is committed to ongoing professional development so that they keep up to date with the latest issues and help our clients to make the right decisions.”
Want to put your moral compass to the test?
Why not join CIPR Midlands at 6.30pm to 8pm on 23rd February when they invite you to be the jury for three tricky ethical scenarios.